Fashion brand CEO succession
After publicizing a search for a new Chief Executive Officer in October, 2012, bebe stores, inc. recently announced its CEO succession. Steve Birkhold, previous President and CEO of Lacoste North America will take over the position from Manny Mashouf, founder, Chairman and CEO of bebe. Mashouf will move into the position of Non-executive Chairman, and had the highest remarks to give about Birkhold.
“I am extremely pleased about the exciting new phase that bebe is entering with the appointment of Steve Birkhold as CEO,” Mashouf said. “Steve is an accomplished industry leader who has grown iconic brands, guided businesses in new strategic directions, and built strong management teams. Most importantly, he shares our passion for the bebe brand. We are eager to continue our journey toward becoming a global, omni-channel company. Steve will help us develop and execute strategies to reach that goal by growing our brand, expanding our distribution channels, and evolving our customer experience.”
Birkhold has over25 years of retail industry experience in various specializations. Prior to working for Lacoste, he served in positions including CEO of Diesel USA, and various executive-level positions with VF (Vanity Fair) Corporation) that include General Manager of Lee Jeans, General Manager of Nautica Jeans and President of Earl Jeans.
CEO succession is not a light process, as it requires an organization’s board of directors to reach an agreement on a candidate that will make for a smooth transition overall from one leader to the next. bebe’s board of directors commented that “…We are confident that, with Manny [Mashouf]’s new role as Non-executive Chairman and the addition of Steve Birkhold as CEO, we have the right leadership combination to take bebe to new heights and deliver enhanced value for our shareholders.”